Raising A Child Alone: A Difficult But Wonderful Experience
Raising a child alone is not the end of the world. There are many fathers and mothers who want to do this. Others, on the other hand, face this challenge after either being abandoned by a partner or even losing their loved one.
Either way, to be clear: raising a child while you are single is a complex experience, but it can turn into the best experience of your life.
Although it is true that until not long ago, having and raising a child alone was considered a bad thing, today a lot has changed. There are those who choose it, who want to have this experience without a partner, and who do not want to share parenthood with someone else. This is a valid choice that we are seeing more and more people make nowadays.
On the other hand, and perhaps in greater numbers, there are those who have recently been abandoned by their partner who had promised them love and partnership forever, up until the pregnancy came. When faced with something like this, only the courageous and those who understand responsibility and compassionate love can confront it – not out of obligation but by feeling the desire and fulfillment to do so.
Either way, our purpose is not to delve into the reasons why a mother (sometimes a father) has to fulfill both roles. Today, at “You Are Mom” we want to talk about strategies that can help you in your day to day life. These tips can also help you to be stronger than you look and to live the best stage of your life to the fullest.
The Truth About Raising A Child Alone
The truth about raising a child alone is simple: It’s tough. Others may see a brave woman, a mother who always wears a smile on her face while she takes her child from here to there. But inside there are many more things going on, lots of thoughts and feelings that we will reflect on.
The fear of not being able to handle it is “in there.”
A mother who raises her child alone gives the best of herself to her baby or children. It makes her happy to see them sleeping peacefully in their beds, but when she herself goes to bed, it is common for her to wake up more than once with a pang in her chest.
- Anxiety and fear are there… and what if I can’t handle everything? What if I get fired from work this month? What if I have to ask my parents for help again? What if my child gets sick again? What will they say at work?
- It is normal to have thoughts like these, they are not irrational fears, they are real fears that a mother who raises her children alone will have more than once. However, every day is new and every day you accomplish amazing things.
Having to Be “Mother” and “Father” at the Same Time
This is a very common mistake that many mothers and fathers make in raising their children on their own: thinking that they must fill both of these roles at the same time.
- We must be clear about something very simple: we are everything to our children. There is no need to fulfill the classic roles of a disciplinarian father who works and a mom who stays at home, who is warm and affectionate. We need to accept that both men and women are capable of doing all of these things.
- Both men and women can be confidants, guides, set limits, teach what is right and wrong, and be the main source of love for their children… be everything.
Single Mothers Need a Social Life Too
A mother who raises a child on her own runs the risk of focusing all of her attention, senses, thoughts and worries on her child to the point of forgetting about herself.
- Be careful with this approach, because if you do not take care of yourself, if you do not have small moments of relaxation and a social life, you can end up developing a depression.
- Let your family help you, get some rest from time to time, and accept support.
- Create a good network of friends, people who can provide you with adequate emotional relief, who you can laugh with, have some time away, and share experiences.
In turn, don’t be afraid to meet other people either, or potential partners… Being a single mother does not take you off of the market. You can find love if that is what you want.
The Figure of the Absent Father and How We Should Talk to Children About It
Sooner or later your child will ask about their absent parent. For their sake, and for their proper emotional development, it is never advisable to convey a sharp hatred of that figure, or to fall into “idealization.”
- Children need honesty and above all, they need a sense of emotional calm where hatred or unfounded ideas have not yet developed.
- You need to convey maturity and balance, and teach your child that your family makes a good team and that the two of you will be okay.
- All in all, being a single parent is not easy and every day is a challenge. But the bond that you establish with your children is wonderful, and that is something that you should be proud of every day: doing a sensational job.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Herrera, F. C. (2011). El último aliento: una fenomenología sobre ser madre soltera. Enseñanza e Investigación en Psicología, 16(1), 165-173. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/292/29215963015.pdf
- Arbiza Berregui, M. I. (1978). La madre soltera frente a la sociedad. Papers: revista de sociologia, (9), 173-196. https://ddd.uab.cat/pub/papers/02102862n9/02102862n9p173.pdf